Great Smoky Mountains National Park photos
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great travel destination for tourists and vacationers. It is a great place to enjoy natural scenic views, pristine wilderness, simply relax and connect with nature. This national park has many natural and man-made attractions and is one of the most visited national parks in the US. Whether you want to hike the trails, explore waterfalls, camp in the nature, drive on scenic windy roads, watch wildlife and birds, enjoy water sports like white water rafting, ride mountain coasters, or zip-lining you can do it all. The Smokies as it is called sometimes spans across the borders of the states of North Carolina and Tennesse and is close to many big cities nearby.
It is interesting how the Great Smoky National Park got its name. Did you know that the smoky haze and the blue mist that blankets around the peaks and valleys give it the unique name? A visit to the Smokies is truly a photographer's delight, you will find plenty of opportunities to capture nature's beauty. Just soaking up the greenery and being in nature is a great way to rejuvenate yourself. Some of the best times to visit are in the months of June, July, and August or October and November for the beautiful fall foliage.
Where to Stay at the Smokies?
If you choose to stay close to the foot of the mountains, Gatlinburg is a great place. It is easy to access the park and the mountain trails from here with a short drive. If you don't mind a little drive up, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville have good accommodations as well. There are many cabins, resorts, and hotels to choose from. They can get filled up pretty quickly in the peak seasons and is definitely a good idea to plan in advance. Staying in a cabin is a good experience in itself and highly recommended. It is a great way to enjoy the stunning views of the mountains, nature, and beautiful sunsets.
Places to visit near Great smoky mountains national park
There are so many things to do and places to visit in the Smokies that it may be impossible to cover them all in one visit. To experience the Smokies and nature, hiking a trail and visiting a waterfall is highly recommended. For first-timers, easy to moderate hiking trails like Grotto, Laurel, or Abrams is great. There are also many others like Rainbow falls, Ramsey cascades, etc which can be a little tedious for beginners.
A visit to Clingman's dome is worth it for the short 0.5 miles (but steep) trail and walk up to the destination of an observatory tower. The 360 degrees stunning views of the mountains from here are just amazing. It is said on a clear day and depending on the weather, you can see seven surrounding states from the top.
If you enjoy white water rafting, the Pigeon River has two kinds of trips the lower pigeon for a quiet float with class 1 or 2 rapids for younger kids and first-timers and the upper for big splashy white water with class 3 or 4 rapids.
There is also a nice deer park and exotic animals petting zoo in Sevierville which is worth visiting. It is a great place to feed and pet different kinds of animals. The parrot mountain with exotic parrots and birds is another attraction that is nearby. Feeding birds nectar and getting a photograph with the exotic parrots perched on your hands and shoulders is quite an experience.
For folks with kids, Pigeon Forge has many other attractions like Dollywood water park, Go-karting, Hollywood wax museums, Titanic show, and many more. Cades Cove is another popular scenic drive loop with many animal sightings and historic places. There are many others like the Roaring Forks trail, Newfound Gap with scenic windy roads and stunning views.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post and the photographs from the Smokies. Click on the images to view them in full resolution. I would love to hear your comments and feedback.